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This elective is a part of the Internship in Clinical Psychology.
The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) elective provides experiences in a clinical setting according to the Scientist-Practitioner model and encourages academic careers in psychology. Interns in this elective receive intensive training designed to provide:
The CBT elective provides interns with experience evaluating and treating patients with conditions representing a full spectrum of DSM-5 disorders. To insure that experience with a variety of disorders and relative specialization with several disorders is achieved, interns track the number of patients seen within each diagnostic category. An effort is made to create diversity in each intern's case load. The clinical training requirement for interns is 9 patient-contact hours per week. Typically, interns schedule approximately 12 patient/hours per week to insure a full 9 hours of contact. The CBT and Behavioral Medicine electives are closely linked, and CBT interns will devote roughly 1/4 of the 9 patient hours per week to behavioral medicine cases.
CBT interns will also co-lead a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group and attend DBT team meetings for six months. (In addition, CBT interns (and all interns) will do a six-month, four-hour/week rotation on the inpatient psychiatry service on Blake 11.)
Participation in a number of diagnostic programs will help ensure that, in addition to providing state-of-the-art CBT interventions, CBT interns become facile with the issues associated with pharmacologic and combined pharmacologic and cognitive-behavioral treatment. Outcome findings for pharmacotherapy, CBT, and their combination are addressed in the CBT seminar. During the internship, interns will become aware of the common doses, side-effects, and actions of the agents most commonly applied in the pharmacotherapy of anxiety, mood, and somatoform disorders. In addition, the CBT elective provides specialty training in issues of combined treatment and discontinuation of pharmacotherapy for patients with anxiety and affective disorders. Experience with and awareness of the effectiveness of CBT for different diagnostic categories helps prepare interns for interacting with managed care companies and other mental health professionals.
CBT interns provide consultations to medical and psychiatric patients hospitalized at Mass General on an as-needed basis.
Typically, successful applicants to the CBT elective have already demonstrated a commitment to clinical research as evidenced by an emerging history of completed research publications and/or presentations. To make the most of the clinical research training, an incoming intern would have their dissertation either nearly complete or complete before starting the internship. One of the objectives of the CBT elective is to solidify the interns' background and skills necessary for a career in academic research.
As part of our commitment to the Scientist-Practitioner model, clinical research is a regular and protected part of the CBT elective. Faculty from the anxiety (panic disorder, social phobia, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar, depression, psychotic disorders, adult ADD, and HIV programs offer a wealth of research opportunities to CBT interns, including multiple ongoing investigations of the nature and treatment of anxiety and affective disorders. In addition to these direct experiences, the CBT Seminar provides training in the use of structured clinical interviews and discusses the methods and findings in recent clinical research trials. The structure of these ongoing studies allows for the intern to add existing measures to ongoing projects or to design side studies of their own.
The Mass General/Harvard Medical School Predoctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology received the "Outstanding Training Program" Award in 2011 by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT).
The internship year is the first step toward specialization in a clinical research area. To provide CBT interns with advanced training in clinical methods and clinical research, we may offer Postdoctoral Fellowships in Clinical Research. Currently, there are post-doctoral fellows who are completing clinical research projects as part of the anxiety, bipolar, OCD, and depression research teams. These teams offer ongoing experiences in treatment outcome protocols as well as specialized investigations of the nature and correlates of these disorders. There is no guarantee of a postdoctoral position for interns.
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